April M Yorke (April), PhD
 Title: Assistant Professor
 Dept: Health Sciences
 Office: IM 335
 Phone: 216-687-6994
 Email: a.yorke@csuohio.edu
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. IM 335, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught

Publications

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Research Keywords:
Complex communication needs, CCN, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, AAC, literacy, reading, writing, children, adults, developmental disabilities, acquired disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, Rare genetic disorders, Metabolic disorders, Intellectual disabilities.
 
Education:
Ph.D., Communication Sciences and Disorders, Penn State University, 2016
M.S., Communication Sciences and Disorders, Penn State University, 2003
B.S., Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, 2001
 
Brief Bio:
April M. Yorke, PhD, CCC-SLP has been an Assistant Professor in the Speech and Hearing Program, School of Health Sciences since 2015.  Dr. Yorke teaches courses in Phonetics, Speech Sound Disorders, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

April has a life-long love of working with individuals with severe disabilities. Since 1995, April has worked individuals with severe and complex communication needs due to developmental or acquired disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, stroke, rare genetic disorders, etc).  She uses technology and other augmentative and alternative communication strategies to help individuals with little or no verbal speech to communicate.

For her research, Dr. Yorke spends her life creating innovative strategies to help individuals with complex communication needs (CCN) to learn to read. It is estimated that 90% of individuals with CCN are graduating high school without functional literacy skills.  It is Dr. Yorke¿s personal mission to change those outcomes. With her amazing team of research assistants (undergrad and graduate students), Dr. Yorke goes out into low income schools and provides intervention to approximately 20 students with CCN multiple times a week. Recently, she has also begun researching interventions to improve literacy outcomes for young typically developing children (pre-k to 1st grade) who are at moderate to high risk for literacy deficits.

Prior to coming to Cleveland State, Dr. Yorke spent 20+ years working with individuals with severe disabilities. Dr. Yorke worked with individuals with severe disabilities in the homes, schools, hospitals, and communities through her undergraduate years and grew to love this population. These phenomenal experiences lead April to Penn State University for her MS Program where she received highly specialized training as part of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication Training Grant from the US Dept. of Education. In addition to receiving the standard speech-language pathology coursework, April completed 3 AAC-specific courses and 2 AAC-specific research projects. It was here that April first discovered the vital importance of literacy for individuals who require augmentative and alternative communication. After receiving her MS, April served as a speech-language pathologist and augmentative communication/assistive technology specialist in the schools and at a post-acute brain injury rehab for 9 years. By then, April had been working with individuals with severe disabilities for 17 years. She decided it was time to return for a PhD and to train the next generation of speech-language pathologists. April returned to Penn State University again for her PhD program and began a new journey as a researcher, creating the next generation interventions to improve literacy outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs.  She couldn¿t be happier with her path.
 
Teaching Areas:
Cleveland State University: Speech and Hearing Program, School of Health Sciences

Graduate Coursework

Comprehensive Exam
(Spring 2018, Spring 2019)

Phonological and Articulation Disorders/ Speech Sound Disorders
(Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019)

Clinical Supervision
(Fall 2017)

Independent Research
(Fall 2018, Fall 2019)

Undergraduate Coursework

AAC and Literacy Intervention Research Speech Seminar
(Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019)

Phonetics
(Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019)

Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders
(Fall 2016, Spring 2017)

Introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication
(Spring 2019)

Pennsylvania State University: Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Undergraduate Coursework

Developmental Considerations in the Assessment and Treatment of Language Disorders
(Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016)

Independent Study: Mentoring Teaching and Research Assistants
(Spring 2015, Fall 2015)
Teaching Assistantships

Developmental Considerations in the Assessment and Treatment of Language Disorders
(Fall 2013)

Speech and Language Intervention: Clinical Supervision
(Fall 2012)

Introduction to Audiology
(Fall 2002)
 
Professional Affiliations:
2003- American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
           Special Interest Division 12: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
           Special Interest Division 2: Neurology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders
 
University Service:
Cleveland State University

2019 ¿ 2020 Library Committee, University Level.

2019 ¿ 2020 Curriculum Committee, Speech and Hearing Program.

2017 ¿ 2019 Accreditation Committee, Speech and Hearing Program.

2017 ¿ 2018 Faculty Mentoring Committee, University Level.

2018 ¿ 2019  Faculty Search Committee, School of Health Sciences.

2018 ¿ 2019 New Faculty On-boarding Subcommittee, School of Health Sciences

2016 ¿ 2017 Graduate Admissions Committee, Speech and Hearing Program.

2016 ¿ 2017 Curriculum Committee, Speech and Hearing Program.

2016 ¿ 2017 Active Learning Committee, Speech and Hearing Program.

2016 ¿ 2017 Strategic Plan Education Subcommittee, School of Health Professions.

2016 ¿ 2017 Distinguished Speaker Committee, Speech and Hearing Program.


Pennsylvania State University

2015 Course Curriculum Review Committee. Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
 
Professional Service:
2019 ¿ American Speech-Language Hearing Foundation University Giving Program Ambassador

2019 ¿ Peer reviewer for Journal articles, Augmentative and Alternative Communication

2019 ¿ Peer reviewer for Journal articles, EHearsay


2018 Peer reviewer for Journal articles, Universal Access in the Information Society.

2016 Conference Program Reviewer, International Society of Augmentative and Alternative
                Communication Conference (Toronto, Canada).
 
Community Service:
2017 ¿ present YouTube Video Series: Teaching Your Children Foundational Literacy Skills in the Home
2017 ¿  present Cleveland Metro School District: AAC and Literacy Interventions.
2017 ¿ 2018         Avon Local School District: Literacy Consultation.
2017 ¿ 2018         Avon Community: Parent Literacy Training.
2016 ¿ 2017         Cleveland Metro School District: AAC and Literacy Evaluations.
2016 ¿ 2017         Avon Local School District: AAC Consultation.
 
Research Grants:
2019 (application) $10,000. American Speech-Language Hearing Foundation¿ New Investigator¿s Grant. The Effects of Multi-Sensory Music-Infused Explicit Instruction on the Decoding of CVC Words in Sentences for Children with Complex Communication Needs and their Peers with Intellectual Disability.

2019 $4500. Cleveland State University¿Undergraduate Summer Research Award. Musical Literacy Interventions for Individuals with Complex Communication Needs and Typically Developing Children who are at Severe Risk for Literacy Delays Due to Low Socio-Economic Status.

2018 $238, 441. Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) grant. (Department representative on a large grant from the School of Health Sciences.

2018 $5000. Cleveland State University¿Undergraduate Summer Research Award. Literacy for Individuals with Complex Communication Needs.

2018 $1204. Leap Frog / V Teach Electronics Equipment Donation.

2012 ¿ 2015 $132,601. Augmentative and Alternative Communication Leadership Grant Funding for PhD Program. The Pennsylvania State University.

2001 ¿ 2003 $35,000. Augmentative and Alternative Communication Personnel Preparation Grant Funding for MS Program. The Pennsylvania State University.